From Board of Trustees President Jack Tanselle:
To All Friends of Sycamore School,
I first want to thank Diane Borgmann, her Administration, the Faculty and all Staff at the school for another great year at Sycamore. It has been three years since we hired Mrs. Borgmann to return to Sycamore to lead the school. I can say with great confidence that her leadership has matched her favorite tagline, allowing the school to consistently move “Onward and Upward.” All signs point toward that continuing into the future. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and caring group of professionals fulfilling their promise to students and families, guiding them during such a critical time in life’s journey.
The Board of Trustees prioritized it’s time this year on three main themes or agenda items:
1. Financial objectives focused on continuing to improve the long-term stability of the school while also trying to manage near-term costs. We refinanced the outstanding balance on the bond from the last capital campaign, updated or created policies to improve standardization and controls of purchasing processes, and continued to leverage the financial planning model created last year to assist with annual budgeting and near-term forecasting and planning.
2. Created a Philosophy Statement regarding the management of resources at Sycamore. This was a year long process led by a Task Force consisting of Traci Caldwell (Chair), Travis Morgan, Pawel Fludzinski, Cecelia McDonnell, Madeleine Smith, Mike Rosiello, and Patrick Juday. The purpose of creating such a statement was twofold: 1) setting general parameters for the Board and Administration to guide future financial decisions, and 2) providing greater transparency to all constituents regarding the revenues and costs of educating a Sycamore student, the importance of annual giving of “time, talent and treasure” by all Sycamore families, and the makeup and role of the Board of Trustees. The document is brief by design – two pages – but much time, effort and discussion went into its creation. I’d like to thank the Task Force for their leadership and diligence, and the entire Board of Trustees for engaging in numerous thoughtful discussions where many considerations were provided across multiple resource spectrums.
3. Focused discussions at our annual retreat and subsequent meetings this spring on the continued improvements needed in creating greater awareness of Sycamore School throughout the Indianapolis metroplex. We have learned that marketing the school through “attraction” serves better than traditional “promotion” (i.e., spending on advertising or other mass marketing campaigns). By attraction, the idea is that through individual and corporate relationship building, we can attract people and groups more naturally and genuinely to learn about Sycamore and all the good work going on at the school. When such relationships start to be built, advocacy and support follow.
You might ask who will build these relationships? It starts with the Board of Trustees and the Administration and continued improvement in the process and habits to build such relationships will be a major objective of our work going into next year. With that said, I encourage all current friends of Sycamore to consider those in your network that might benefit from an introduction to or greater awareness of Sycamore, whether it be for a potential new student or something else related to the education of academically gifted and high ability learners. Seek out Trustees or Administrators for suggestions on how best to facilitate those introductions.
Martin Bott, Chris Obeime and Phil Johnson are rolling off the Board this year. I want to thank them for giving of their time, talent and treasure. We will welcome to the Board next year two new members who have previously served – Michael Mervis and Bob Brody. I look forward to again working with both Michael and Bob. Sycamore School is in a very strong position – administrative leadership, highly qualified and dedicated faculty and staff, increasing student enrollment, sound and stable financials, and most important, an overall culture of student happiness. I look forward to serving with my fellow Trustees and the Administration in 2012/2013 excited to build on that position for continued growth and development of this great school.
Comments and questions for the Board can also be sent to email@example.com.
Board of Trustees